Ok first of all I know this is a long post but i really need some advice, hope im not taking the piss...
I have been training for just over 2 years now, and in my first 14-ish months i made some great gains. However my birthday is coming up soon and I have just realised I am the same size now as I was on my last birthday and this pisses me off.... - I have made some gains in strength but nothing considerable.
Current size is 6"4 about 224lbs - quite lean - 18" arms, about 46" chest - i can bench about 140kg maximum, deadlift about 220 and squat 180 all for one rep if i had too
I am a very, very hard gainer and only manage to consume about 250-300 ish grams of protein a day.
I have never taken any juice.
Current training plan which hasnt changed for a long time involves training each body part (except legs and shoulders) twice a week:
Monday - shoulders - smith press, dumbell press, flys, bent over flys, barbell shrugs, dumbell shrugs
Tuesday - chest and back - flat bench, incline bench, maybe flys - lateral pulls, one arm rows, seated rows,
Wednesday - legs - squats, leg press, leg extensions, hamstring curls, calf raises
Thursday - Biceps, Triceps - barbell curl, preacher curl, dumbell curls - skull crushers, tricep pushdowns, tricep kickbacks
Saturday - chest, back, triceps, biceps - bench press, incline dumbells, pec deck, wide chins, seated rows, pullovers, hammer curls, preacher curls, machine curls, close grip bench press, tricep pushdowns, dips
Sunday - deadlifts and cardio
each exercise - is 3-5 sets pyramiding the reps from 15/12 down to 4
I know everyone will call me an overtraining moron...not what i want to hear - i know this is way too much...
I have nothing to lose the way i see it and want to try a program that will help me gain mass.
Someone has suggested trying 3 sets for each bodypart - each set 5 full out quality reps which would represent a massive change for me.
3 sets per body part seems too little although i think keeping the reps at 5 is good hopefully pushing the weight up each week - can anyone recommend anything different/better - i actually have a good physique as it is and am way bigger than most people but want to try something different for 6 weeks which i will chart to see how it affects me.
Thanks and appreciation to anyone who takes the time to read this and help me out....
If you're muscles are still able to function correctly in time for the next workout then don't worry about changing routines.
If you aren't gaining weight then more than likely you aren't eating enough. Its pretty much that simple. Track your diet over the course of a couple weeks by logging it into something like www.fitday.com. If you aren't gaining weight (at least somewhere between 1-2kg) then just increase your calories by 500 each week until you are.
I'm a hardgainer myself (or a person with a high metabolism) and I train about as often as you do but if I'm eating enough, its just as easy for me to gain weight as anybody else. Granted I might need 4500-5500 calories a day to do this but it can happen.
What is elite?
"Those who work the hardest often complain the least." -anonymous
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
the problem is forcing yourself to consume that much
Name: Addison , Height: 6'0"
Weight: 173 lbs, Location: Toronto
Bodyfat: 8.4%, Age: 18
Bench: 205lb x 2
Squat: 275lb x 4
Deadlift: 305lb x 1
Chins: 20 pronated, 5 w/ 50lb db
As of 5/03/2005
My Pic Thread
Master the breathing squat. Not many people seem to know how to perform it, but it'll "put muscles on a lamppost."
Originally Posted by PoppaPump
I would have to say with 18 inch arms and 46 inch chest you are not THAT much of a hard gainer. There are people on here who have been training for years (myself included) and still don't have those measurements. Even at 6'4" that's quite impressive.
As for your routine. If it is working don't change it. You could though experiment with the 3 sets of 5 reps workout and see how it feels. Sometimes people who do high volume are pleasantly shocked when they try a low volume routine.
without reading what everyone else said I am just going to respond to what you have here. In every mans life your going to have to make sacrifices to get what you want. the question is are you willing to work out less to gain more? I also hope you have every rep, exercise, weight recorded for your own notes to go back over. If you have these things use them make sure you are pushing yourself because believe even if you have a spotter they are not going to push hard all the time. Only you can do that! You really can go as long as 10 days in-between work outs without loosing anything I am not saying you should just saying you can and that you might want to really do some reading on less is more. Look into something like H.I.T High Intensity Training by Mike Mentzer (spelling??) might give you some ideas you can blend in with your current work outs. Make sure your eating enough as well can not stress how important that is as well. if you have the best work out in the world and don't eat right you results will never be good. Hope this helps mateOriginally Posted by PoppaPump
Being small with Neuromuscular strength is good but being BIG with Neuromuscular strength is better!
First off. Hard Gainer? If the info you have provided is not fantasy, then you have produced some spectacular gains. Not only that, you have both size and strength. Now of course such measurements you have given need to be weighed against your genetics. It could be that at your height you would have been a big bastard and not a bean pole even had you never ventured into a gym. I would be curious to know what rest between sets you take. As this is a powerful variable.
To your question. You did not specify if you had stagnated. You said you were dissatisfied with your gains. No size and minimal strength. Though I would like to know exactly how much stronger you are this year, as opposed to last, as a percentage. Again, like that rest between sets info, it would help to give a more complete answer.
But working with what you have given.
No-one EVER knows the gains in size and strength again that they do when they are first starting out. As you become more advanced, unless you take the steroid road, or have phenomenal genetics, you are going to have to earn it. Slowly. I have never met a big gain in size or strength, that didn't start out as a small gain first.
Looking at where you are at the moment, from what you have said, it is likely your body has adapted itself to that same old routine you have been subjecting it to. So it is time to change the variables. Others may disagree, but I have found that equally the two things which the body adapts to most quickly are reps and resistance (note: these govern volume, naturally more you lift less reps you can do). Then rest between sets. And then exercise.
Now, every single workout, you expose your body to the whole range of reps. This can be for some a double edged sword. For though it gives you a great all round workout, it too allows your body to accommodate to each rep range. Think of it this way, a person (A) who had been working out solely in the 3-5 rep range if they changed up to 8-10 reps, would go through a far more radical shift than would a person (B) who already worked across a range of reps. For their body would already, physiologically and neurally, have experience with this. And as a result, they would perhaps, know far less gains. Though all this needs to be held against fibre make up of course. If A was predominantly fast twitch and B not, then such a program might be disastrous for A. Yet B would still do quite well. Though, that B's body would still have adapted somewhat to that rep range thereby diminishing his gains is certain.
As I said at the beginning, given that you already press 140kg you are very strong. Myself, I use dumbbells and have a best of 45kg X 5sets X 5reps (4mins between sets), and it is rare to see a guy on the street in town with a stronger upper body (48 inch chest). Though your arms are a lot bigger than my own, 16.5 inches with a dumbbell curl of 23kg X 5sets X 5 reps.
Given this strength, perhaps your body is trying to tell you something. Perhaps you would benefit from dropping the reps, and upping the weight lifted, which would in turn mean increasing time between sets.
Do this, and you will have to drop your volume. For the weight lifted always varies inversely with the amount of reps you can do. More weight, less reps.
You said you had 6 weeks.
Alright. Here is a program which if you are eating properly, I will guarantee will give you an increase in strength of 6-10% (dependant upon how advanced you are in a particular lift) in that time. It won't have the volume you are used to. But let me assure you, it can leave you just as wiped. For neurologically you are really going to be put through your strides.
The method of progression is such. Take ONE and only ONE large/compound lift for each exercise. Begin with a weight you can do for 5 sets of 5 reps with a 4min (can be slightly less) rest between sets, reaching concentric failure on the last rep of the last set.
Workout 2: add 3-5% to what was lifted the previous week and drop the number of reps by 1 to 4. And repeat. Reaching failure on the last rep of the last set.
The easiest way to show the program is in the following example:
Now switch back up, using weight of W2 for W1.
Following week: 5X5 110kg. A 10% increase in strength in just a handful of workouts!
Notice how the program mixes up those key variables of resistance and reps.
Upon completion of the above, assess other variables. Eg, you could keep weight and reps the same, yet repeat the cycles each time decreasing the rest between sets by one minute. VERY EFFECTIVE!
Remember the weights given above are just to illustrate. As I wrote earlier the % increase you add in weight each week will be governed by how advanced you are in a particular lift. Some exercises it will be 5% though others 4% or even 3%.
Too, the example above gave nice round numbers. But what if your best 5X5 was 103.5kg? Clearly getting the exact % without micro plates would be difficult. Don't sweat it. Just get as close as you can. If you have one rep left in you at the end, or fall one rep short, it is not the end of the world, just don't aim for that.